Listen, I don’t want to tell Kevin Durant how to live his life, but this may be the worst decision in the history of decisions if it were to seriously be on the table. On one hand I get it, having to miss this season is probably going to suck big time for Durant. He already secured his 4/164M bag so it’s not like he has to worry about potentially costing him money, but even still this would be a terrible decision. Remember what happened the last time Kevin Durant tried to come back and play a little early? Oh that’s right his achilles exploded
We aren’t talking about a sprained ankle here or a pulled hammy. Throughout NBA history an achilles injury is often the kiss of death, especially if you’re in your 30s. I’m not kidding, history is not kind to this type of injury
A study of 18 NBA players who underwent surgical repair for Achilles injury between 1988 and 2011 showed “a significant decrease in playing time and performance.’’ Seven of those players did not return to basketball.
Performance was measured by NBA Player Efficiency Rating (PER) calculated two seasons before and two seasons after the injury, according to the study — “Performance Outcomes After Repair of Complete Achilles Tendon Ruptures in National Basketball Association Players’’ — published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in 2013.
More recent research supports those findings.
Almost half of 44 NBA players who ruptured Achilles tendons over the past three decades were unable to return or play more than 10 games upon returning to the league, according to a study presented this year to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Those players who did return were “unable do so so at their pre-injury level, as evidence by the observed decline in PER,’’ according to the study set to be published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.
I’m not someone who thinks Durant won’t get back to his insane level, I think he’s a basketball freak and can end up being closer to the Dominque Wilkins/Kobe type of recovery but even still there’s absolutely no reason to rush him back. The Nets are good, they also added Kyrie, and they play in a conference where there is no need to get stupid. If you look at recent history of guys who have had similar injuries, here’s how long they were out
Boogie – 357 days
Rudy Gay – 273 days
Wesley Matthews – 237
Kobe Bryant – 240 days
Chauncey Billups – 296 days
Durant had surgery on his achilles on June 12th, if he has the Wesley Matthews type of recovery speed, that has him being back around Feb/March. I get the temptation, there’s the whole returning to GS on March 12th, by then maybe the Nets are competing for a top 4 seed, and you have Kyrie AND Durant for the playoffs. It’s enticing as hell, but is the risk really worth it? If you’re the Nets and you just invested all this money into Durant, I can’t fathom not being overly cautious. So you may not win the NBA title this season, big deal. You start the 2021 season with a 100% healthy Durant/Kyrie you’ll be a favorite. If Durant comes back and hurts himself again and god forbid has to miss basically two seasons, well that’s a disaster. The risk alone would not make it worth it to me.
Sean Marks has done literally every single thing right in his effort to rebuild the Nets. They are on the brink of being a serious player in the conference for years to come. As someone who enjoys watching Kevin Durant play basketball, I do not want anything that could further jeopardize how long we actually get to see him play. Don’t be stupid, sit out the whole year and then play in the Olympics to get ready for the upcoming season. To rush him back and then immediately throw him into playoff basketball where everything is taken up a notch doesn’t seem like the best idea.